Posts by Mirona

Canvy recommendation IoT map

Know your IoT

This week, we found a comprehensive IoT ecosystem map. It belongs to Postscapes, it is interactive and it manages to capture the strategic lines in this field.

Have a go, explore this interesting map and also their website. The most passionate of you can even find it useful to browse their DIY section. Branching out of their main menu, the topics you can find there are numerous and can inspire you, as they did us.

Canvy gadgets

Searching for some of the most captivating gadgets

We are assaulted by a constant pumped-up state of being clients and consumers. The anniversaries and holidays seem not to be enough. Product providers and brands compete for our attention incessantly. We learn that we deserve treats and presents with each opportunity there is. Our dear ones also seemingly need to see our love materialized in similar presents/representative gestures.

Since storytelling is a big part of the most successful marketing gigs nowadays, this state of perpetual gift-giving ends up being confusing. Are there for real things that could bring us joy? Or is it just an illusion?

Let’s remember how we enjoyed playing when younger. And let’s remember how there are such things that amuse, amaze and fascinate people, just because…

Keeping it up to date

Although some of us are nostalgic about a rubber ball or a kite, this just won’t do. Now the mindset is different. As annoying Windows 10 might be sometimes, it just won’t do to fantasize about Windows NT, right?

Therefore, our search for captivating gadgets wins over books, office accessories, yesteryear toys and other similar things.

We also won’t include computers, phones and tablets into our scope. After all, as entertaining as video games might be – they still look like work. Just observe a player and imagine he or she is actually working. Not just any work – it’s like passionate, dedicated work. Never mind it’s called gaming – it often brings contorted facial expressions in the mix. We are going for instant joy. And this is different.

So, fun gadgets.

Visually captivating gadgets

Although any great design is a pleasure to contemplate, light-emitting gadgets are an epitome of this category. We have stumbled upon a selection by Wired which fits the profile.

Just click on the link and explore the FlashFlight or the NeckFX Guitar. Ofc the Philips light bulb is in the list. Some of the gadgets mentioned here are not even expensive. But they do look mesmerizing.

Talking about nostalgia – the light-up shoes are also in this selection. Even better, it’s their adult counterpart that made it as a semi-gadget here.

From a light-saber to some admirable flashlights and smart candles – the list is indeed a delight. Spending at least a few hours of genuine delight with one of these gadgets is guaranteed.

Survivalist gadgets

I recently read that modern people aimlessly wander about searching for happiness because they have not rewired their brains to all the changes surrounding them. We still miss the primeval victories of acquiring food, being with a pack of kindred beings and accumulating possessions. While this might well be true, those most in tune with their ancient instincts can re-channel them into skills.

Skills need companions – and these gadgets are for survivalists.

BrightSide put together a list that contains scary stuff, less scary stuff, and things that will make you say “that’s clever!” A shark repellent, an emergency beacon, a universal water filter and so on. Of course, each of them implies you would be out there, in the wilderness. OK, we exaggerate here… But there’s no point in using these at home. Out there is implied, the wilderness not necessarily.

A bit of gadget therapy

As lava lamps are a cultural benchmark, we sought their upgraded version. We think we found the perfect one – the ferrofluid gadget. Just browse this post from Digital Trends before arguing against the idea. We kind of cheated. There is a ferrofluid lamp that makes no mystery of the entire lava lamp connection.

However, watching the gluey like waves of ferrofluid dancing around can provide a few good hours of entertainment. Since the patterns are at your disposal, it’s never the same with these gadgets. We estimate the few hours to be just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The plasma ball included in this list is similar. Just pay attention and get the real thing, and avoid the low-priced copy that has a tune bound to scratch your ears and whose buttons pop out. (Yeah, we speak from experience. It’s the same with the magnetic Perpetuum Motion gadgets.)

And the final wrap-up

We got a bit tired of searching by categories. And it’s not easy to find out simple, fun gadgets online. Or maybe it takes more virtual digging up. Anyways, here’s a final source to keep you happy and occupied for a couple of minutes – with 18 cool gadgets endorsed by BuzzFeed. You will meet again some things that featured in the last list we mentioned – which is a good sign.

Couldn’t get used to the garlic peeler. But it doesn’t matter since it’s not a modern gadget. Not in the sense of this article. The Pinart thing is also more for putting on the shelf after you’ve learned all its tricks – there aren’t so many.

But this list is also interesting, so it should provide you with a couple extra contenders for the funniest, simplest gadget to own or to offer as a present. Have fun!

Canvy top apps Android iOS 2017

What apps would you take with you on an Internet-connected island?

We know, our scenario has some gaps. Apps are not like books, once you have Internet access, you can download and install as many as you want to.

But let’s say you can’t use the island wireless for getting new apps, just for getting the old ones online. And there would be a limited number of choices – just 7 applications.

In other words, what are the most popular types of apps right now? And what categories do they belong to? We’ll use the latest official yearly reports for this.

 

The 2017 tops – the podium

There is a definite need for a plural here. Due to the fact that we have two major operating systems/environments competing for people’s preferences – we have a double set of winners for 2017.

On the Android side, as measured by Play Store downloads, the leading app is the controversial FaceApp.

The leading iOS app for the last year is Bitmoji.

(We can surely see how people like to play – a bit of (visual) fun is what lacks more in our life, as it seems).

The second place for Adroid consists of a sassy weather app – What The Forecast?!!, while the iOS fans ranked Snapchat in a similar second-to-best position. The Androiders are getting somewhat serious, but not too much, Gamification still drives the highest scores.

Thirdly, we have Boomerang bringing entertaining cartoons for the Android owners – so, the childish side of the smartphone users gets another big point. iOS reciprocates with their YouTube app, bringing video materials of all sorts to the fictional island mentioned in the title.

 

The mid-range apps, according to last years’ numbers

Android follows up with TopBuzz Video, a sort of personalized, optimized YouTube for lazy searchers – to put it shortly. The iOS users change direction and rank Facebook’s Messenger the 4th, choosing to reach out and communicate.

The fifth most loved Android app is another game – and we hear it’s a very cute one. Yarn is a gamified story that people seem to enjoy. Meanwhile, the iOS-ers stick with Facebook and its properties, ranking Instagram the 5th in the downloads’ 2017 top.

Finally, the last duo of the mid-range area are Photo Editor, in the case of Android, and who else but Facebook, in the case of iOS. Is it that iOS users socialize more than Android users? One may surely consider this conclusion.

 

Which app is the Seven Ender?

We have said just 7 apps, OK? And we mean what we said. Let’s see which entry is the last one in our tops.

For Androiders, this would be – oh, big surprise, yet another game! Bubble Witch Saga, an old-school colorful game that still stands after 20 years, according to our hyperlinked (above) source. The iOS users have definitely migrated towards an opposite (more serious) corner, and they placed Google Maps on the 7th place.

Noticing a slight standard of living (possible) speculation can come out of this application parallel, we cannot but add that, for the app producers, nuances don’t matter as long as their product rises in popularity above the other options.

Do you fit the Android or the iOS profile, according to these 2017 statistics?

Canvy smartphones cognitive abilities management addictive

Why managing our phones now means not having to part with it later

In high school, we had a teacher who once almost had a nervous breakdown in class. The reason consisted of the fact that we did not pay attention, at all, to what she was saying. In her own words, not paying attention was worse that misbehaving or being noisy. While we weren’t disturbing the class, she noticed that our minds kept being elsewhere, on a regular basis.

I don’t remember what our preoccupation was back then, but today, we would surely be thinking of something related to our phones – a message, a photo, the latest updates from one of our contacts or the videogame we like with those virtual chores that we must perform at regular times.

 

Smartphones finally get accurate studies…

…in what their desensitization effect is concerned, that is. While extremely profitable for the tech producers, as well as for the marketers and the commercial entities that found a new way of reaching out to customers whenever, wherever, their effect on people’s cognitive abilities is bad, apparently.

Since profitability is the key factor that drives competent studies, we may well assume a few things. First, the situation is serious and thoroughly researched. Secondly, the degree it affects budgets must be high. Weighing the pros and cons resulting from this situation, the tech industry took the preliminary steps. Educating smartphone users would be the first step. The message comes through pretty clear – mind the way you use your phones.

Not managing our smartphones properly means not being in control. This in turn pairs up with being less attentive, less intelligent and less productive.

 

Do we have to actually be on the phone for it to affect us?

As this article from HBR that prompted this topic shows, people don’t actually have to use their phone actively to perform less in cognitive activities.

The strength of the connection people have with their phones is the factor that makes the difference. Those who have developed a dependency are affected even by the presence of their phones in the pocket.

This does not make smartphones evil – it simply draws the attention to a fact that we need to take into considerations. Our phones have become points of attraction, and their lure is stronger when unacknowledged. Once realizing that we have a problem, it’s up to us to find solutions.

Depending on just how serious this issue is – in numbers and metrics – we can expect to see other warnings, or even future public campaigns teaching people how to put their phones away, when needing to focus.

 

Entrepreneur also based a feature on the study backing up the HBR article.

Canvy Mi TV 4

Mainstream and lower-end technology – do they compete for the same market share?

As the market of smartphones illustrates, the offer is wide enough for every pocket to find a suited device. From high-end phones, an area where Apple competes with Samsung, to low-end cheap devices, which are still able to provide Internet connectivity and support the most popular apps, there’s plenty to choose from.

In a similar way, other tech gadgets find their state-of-the-art expensive materialization, their mid-range one, as well as the low-end affordable counterparts.

 

How is the market allotted – do big incomes pair up with expensive tech, or the pattern is less obvious?

Of course, a pertinent answer to this question is only possible when based on recent, consistent market studies. But how about induction? Each of us can pay attention around and notice who owns which brand of technology, and how often do they renew their devices.

The results may differ from country to country, even the regional culture influences such behaviors. Of course, there are exceptions anywhere – but the average person tends to follow the immediate trends.

For example, there are a lot of people who do not have their own income (youngsters) or people with a low income that are brand fanatics. You may notice such people featuring the latest iPhone model, or at least sticking with a well-known brand. The middle segment would most likely be constituted out of medium-income people who choose to go with a well-known brand due to the implied guarantee of quality, but keep the same device until it expires, being uninterested in going for the latest model.

This segment must be pretty consistent, since the big tech companies are tapping into it with the strategy of ceasing support for older versions, or promoting software that only works on more recent models.

 

The gap between assumptions and reality in tech

As mentioned, only a truly professional market report can pretend to reflect the actual reality of what is going on. Pretend – since there is a degree of accuracy involved in each study, which leaves behind a degree of inaccuracy. The media often forgets this detail when going for attention-grabbing titles, and employs firm, one hundred percent word.

There are also scientific studies on social effects – viral phenomenon, critical mass, influencers… These familiar words do characterize precise, quantifiable social moves. Researchers specialize in predicting them, and more recently, AI & Machine Learning play an important role in forecasting tendencies that affect businesses.

The reality, however, does look a bit different. Your grandma might be using your old phone, or your kids may chat or play games on your business phone when at home. The full featured user is in fact an enigma – and some say it’d better remain as such, to a certain degree.

Meanwhile, the low-price tech catches up with the high-end players

Testing is the mother of truthfulness, in tech. We didn’t get the chance to test the new Mi Smart LED TV 4 (Mi TV 4), but it seems it is a hit in India at the moment. This fact is plausible, as all revolutionary technologies started by being extremely expensive, then reached affordable costs. Being able to deliver excellence at a reasonable price is part of the technological race since forever.

As long as those who launch such products are honest and do not create then crush false expectations in their clients, the process is more than welcome. We may still have dreams of well-known brands, but sooner or later we’ll notice a friend that perhaps has the same benefits from his less-known brand device as the owners of high-end brands have – and this will get us thinking…

Canvy data protection GDPR communications Internet

The ubiquitous world of information

Nowadays, most of the people have a public Internet persona, sometimes without even knowing it. Surely, once accessing the net and setting up a few accounts, anybody should be aware that they “exist” online. Excepting the case where a person is really privacy-sensitive and the accounts are hardly relate-able to the real individual.

But how much control does each individual have over its own brand it’s a different thing.

 

Online directories

If you think your data will stay put on the Internet, then you are in for a big surprise. Nobody is an island in this sea of information. Various automated directories will farm your data – some because it’s the only way they exist, by centralizing various information, others because they compile and sale databases to whomever is willing to pay for it.

The reverse of the coin is that potentially interested parties adopted the practice of looking for your online footprint. Thus, they might find out things – and interpret them. For example, the practice of “googling up” candidates in Human Resources is frequent. Yet, much like bragging it may allow distorted facts to pass on as reality. And unlike bragging, some may find themselves blacklisted without any explanation, and without any chance of making things clear.

This is just somewhere in the gray area – but imagine what happens when malicious entities target an individual. Getting to know somebody’s area of interest is not so difficult nowadays – Social Media showcases quite a lot. Social engineering – a technique involved in hacking – makes quite a day out of it.

 

The pitfalls of social media

Even the more privacy-educated individuals have their moments. They have friends and relatives that are completely unaware of this angle, or simply cannot keep track of every setting out there. Let’s recap one thing – the social media networks and apps do not align their default settings with the stance that would protect your privacy. You have to manually configure the settings at your disposal. And you have to do this again and again each time new features come in.

Why is that? Nobody has to look too far for the answer – essentially social network are jars of honey that attract a lot of customers, bedazzled by the benefits of the online community and by the playful side of these tools. A lot of customers equals a lot of data. Marketing data. Data which is valuable, which continually updates itself, and which is usually volunteered cheerfully by all those eager to show off their life, their options, their latest acquisitions – to their connections. And ultimately to the whole wide world out there.

Curiosity acts both ways in social networking. We are curious to see how others are doing, and we also cannot wait to see their reactions to the various things we showcase. Both work out great for data farming…

 

The tools that allow individuals to reclaim control

The first line of defense is education & self-censorship.  Always be informed what the risks are – and run a few questions in your head, as a reflex, before volunteering things that could expose you and those related to you.

Secondly, find a few moments from time to time to see what is new, what has changed around your info. Correct the old settings – it’s always better to prevent than to treat.

Another pretty famous line of defense – that transcends social networking – would be exerting the right you have over your own data.

The European GDPR will be enforced this spring – it is the standard in data protection, in what the companies that deal with data are concerned. It works both online and offline. It is meant to prevent accidents, like those who led in the past at major data leaks.

However, there is no use in a standard trying to protect your privacy when you splash around your personal data, so understanding the importance of owning your data protection is essential.

 

The right to be forgotten

The right to be forgotten, as translated into regulations and procedure that bind Internet operators, such as Google, tries to make sure that securing potentially damaging, private information about individuals is at least available.

The procedure is not mandatory, as it involves approval of the requests. However, there are people who act upon it – and a recent status update coming from Google itself illustrates this. Basically, URLs can be delisted as an effect of a successful RtBF action. You can see more here.

 

A word of advice

Social interactions used to take place within certain common sense boundaries, and politeness was the sign of any educated man in a society not so far up in the past.

Today, the way we expose ourselves in the digital environment, as well as the way we expose others, could be imbued with a sense of prevention, of data protection conscientiousness and, ultimately, of responsibility.

When you won’ protect your own data, how is it that you expect others to do so? Well, now some of them are bound to do it, due to the new regulations. However, there are so many free agents that prey on your data mistakes, that it is highly preferable you would be attentive and informed on what your privacy is concerned.

Canvy Facebook WhatsApp social networks

The Facebook Messenger story – a (perhaps dangerous) success

Similar Web released a study that reveals the most popular global messaging apps in the last couple of years. The study, as analyzed by express.co.uk, clearly captures the way Facebook Messenger superseded WhatsApp in 2017, compared to 2016. Granted, the current version of Messenger launched in April 2015. It went from 600 million users initially, to 9 00 million in June 2016, 1 billion in July 2016, and 1.2 billion in April 2017.

Just as a list, here you may see the Top Google Play apps in the Communication section, as listed by the same SimilarWeb. The top two positions are similar to the study quoted by the UK publication.

What is the dangerous part in Messenger’s success?

Going back to 2016, we may well remember how Facebook forced its users to download the Messenger app, separating Messenger from their network. The move qualified as “hostile” at the time – and the users were annoyed.

However, we are now looking at an app that beat the install-at-your-free-will WhatsApp – and what does this tell us? That a forceful move is ignor-able, if time and numbers vouch for a successful outcome.

The company, or any other company could replay the same technique in theory. The results d not seem to penalize the practice in any way.

What would the practice be described as? Well, splitting one product that has been validated by the market and ensuring a similar success of the secondary project – in a move that removes the users from the control board.

The peoples’ network – the capital of any communication app

The above example was possible due to the fact that Facebook made sure they have a most valuable capital, before making their move. The people that formed their social network already established connections and cared about them. Letting go was unlikely. Facebook capitalized on this reality, which is a customary practice with this brand.

Of course, taking into account that each move that the users dislike brings about a lot of comments about how Facebook does not consider the users’ wishes, the levels of discontent seem to raise. Somewhere along the line there should be a tipping point. Some wonder, others plainly hope for this to materialize – because this approach is, in fact, offensive.

Its value of precedent makes the entire issue even more important. Facebook has plans for free, ubiquitous Internet. Facebook – the social network, has the tagline “It’s free and always will be”. This is an important factor that attracted the huge numbers of users. The users that are now capital for one very important brand. The users that now have to ignore their pride and options at each questionable change made by the network. Because it’s free and because they still want to keep in touch with their peers.

Take this hidden price and shift it at the Internet’s level…

…and you get an arguable lack of freedom of choice. Just how much are you willing to give up because you want to be in the loop? Just how much is it worth giving up in exchange for freebies?

The big lurking issue beneath the free Internet is lack of net neutrality. You surely know the debate – fast and slow lane Internet, selected information, the bigger player gets to decide what goes on where.

The problem with this kind of fight is that it never happened. Without the influencers explaining the importance of keeping your freedom of choice, the general noise covered the incident. What never happened remains just a memory, if that. The mechanism was tested and it worked in favor of Facebook.

This proves the point that the leading-edge tech companies have the authority, build upon years of customer relationships and upon free features that dazzle the public, of imposing their point of view over the better reason or over the preferences of their audience.

Is this an idea we are comfortable with?

Unsettling future perspectives

Some acknowledge that we are not there yet, but we might be heading straight into a society of uniformity. Uniformity would not exclude variety – just think of how automation segments users into categories. You wisely keep categories, yet you feed the same message to one and all – to each in its personalized, suitable manner.

Such an image surely describes a simplified way of getting things through, but it definitely does not describe modern, educated communication. Communication as we’ve grown to understand it, means getting things back and forth, perhaps disagreeing, confronting opposite ideas. The winner is not pre-decided in real communication. If it would be, then why bother with just the show?

Or are we there yet, and we just expect the show? Perhaps Facebook just put the Messenger move too bluntly, while other brands still go through the slow-dance steps of announcing, testing, taking feedback into consideration – and finally going through with the initial decision, regardless of what users want. This way, they have something to show in the line of “at least making an effort”.

 

Canvy MWC 2018

February unleashes MWC 2018, and the mobile brands are set to amaze us once more

…or at least that’s what the public expects from the 900+ exhibitors (as listed here).

The dedicated online media already started covering this focal topic, and the latest developments are yet to come. You can browse the latest TechCrunch feature on what to look forward to at this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress or search for the specific string of news as covered by your favorite online publication. You probably won’t be disappointed.

 

What caught our eye about this year’s MWC

On a short browsing session today we’ve noticed how LG’s Vision AI managed to make the trending news. Well, tbh, some of the members of our team do have a soft spot for the latest generation LG products. Nevertheless, the fact that a suite of AI technologies aiming to conquer the hearts of mobile fans is really raising an interest illustrates that the market has a certain amount of expectations in this direction. Regardless of the brand, the company that will genuinely be capable of answering these expectations gets the benefit of breaking the ice. Of course, the functionalities should be extremely practical or even truly amazing, otherwise we are back to the late 70s almanac effect.

What we mean to say with this is that progress is a fickle thing. Prototypes and projective stories on progress are one thing, while the viable commercial products and the feel of the materialized concepts can easily disappoint. The market hunger for truly impressive technologies does not make for the said technologies.

Now, the features prepared by LG, as introduced here do not seem as exciting as one would have thought. While AI’s possibilities are infinite, using them to recommend the best photo shooting mode or to voice-control the smartphone seems way under the expectations.

 

Other brands also hint at a couple of potentially interesting unveiling-s

Launching a new wireless charger, coming up with a new, improved DeX and presenting the Galaxy S9 and S9+ flagships should be alluring enough for Samsung’s fans. You may explore more details on this topic here.

IDEMIA made a few waves with its Augmented Identity solutions. The target audience here is industry level, and the main concerned areas would be the Financial, Telecom, Identity, Public Security and IoT.

Huawei keeps its followers busy with developments on the 5G line of action, and places its AI bets in the cloud, more precisely its All-Cloud intelligent networks infrastructure.

Of course, the novelties will have in mind various areas and different financial possibilities – for example Archos will showcase 3 budget phones. The thing is not without importance, since the idea of ubiquitous Internet is still on the table, and this means all individuals should afford Internet access, be it on a budget device or on a high-end one.

Between promises and delivery

Since it’s already been a couple of years since the tech companies circulate bold concepts in the context of the IoT, and in general, of the new tech conjecture, we may well notice the way things look a bit toned down. This is partly due to the fact that these bold concepts have had time to fail, or simply not deliver. Once this happened with flexible phones, transparent screens or smart glasses, the enthusiasm that surrounded the possible materialization of these bright ideas is bound to lose some of its oomph.

This does not automatically mean the tech bubble is deflating. It just stands to show the environment is perhaps maturing, and the viable ideas separate themselves from the less possible ones. We’ll just have to see what real surprises tech brands do have in store for their customers.

 

 

Canvy Intel news Vaunt

Is the smartest design inconspicuous? Intel seems to think so

You must have surely heard by now of the smart glasses’ odyssey. The wearable computer glasses have gone through a few versions – and the issue of comfort shared an equal part with the tech issue, in what keeping the product from mass commercialization is concerned.

The most well-known attempt comes from Google. The Google Glass went through several proofs of concept (PoC), then it became the Aura Project, aiming niche markets (healthcare, corporate). It gradually faded out of the limelight.

The entire experience prompted out that unusual, uncomfortable head gear cannot lead to success. VR headsets represent a similar case.

 

Intel’s attempt to turn the tables

Intel decided to avoid making the same mistakes as mentioned above. Their smart glasses look inconspicuous, according to online media reports. The prototype is called Vaunt, and allegedly mimics the usual pair of plastic glasses one may find at any optometrist.

The Vaunt can reflect holographic images on the user’s retina, include Bluetooth connectivity, and are able to send discreet notifications to their user. The matter of contextual, integrated notification is one focal point of this new piece of technology, whilst the software that backs it up remains a secret for the moment.

While Slate underlines the possible connection between Intel’s negative chipset security flaws attention and this new gadget – as in suggesting that the company may have used this project to distract people from the less flattering question of flawed chipsets, the product is nevertheless interesting.

Regardless of whether Intel will decide to commercialize the Vault or not, it sure has set a precedent.

 

What if the bold new technology were inconspicuous?

Let’s imagine the tech gear of the future looking just as our current objects look like, only having an advanced tech twist hidden beneath a normal looking surface.

This would surely be another way to go, in opposition with in-your-eyes technology, making a loud statement that it should prevail in our lives.

An IoT-connected, highly automatized household could, for example, look just like any other house, unraveling its technological potential only per request.

We could integrate efficient technology in a completely environment-friendly landscape, aiming for health, visually-pleasing greenery and sustainability.

Of course, the degree of maturity involved in taking such an approach is way higher than the actual stage of societal progress seems to involve. But we can always remain optimistic.

If by the time we’ve grown out of the tech-enthusiasts’ adolescence we are basking in, there will be enough of a planet for us to steer back towards an eco-compatible environment, inconspicuous technology might be the only way to go.

In the meantime, you may take a look at the Vaunt, on this Verge hands-on video:

Canvy Google HTC brands humanizing trends

Humanizing brands – what does it mean in our age?

On the background of the news concerning the Google acquisition of certain HTC employees for a sum of $11 billion in cash, as captured by ZDNet, we wondered what does the public associate brands with  – nowadays.

The individual-behind-the brand is an obsolete trend. We remember the Steve Jobs cult, yet most of the customers of the same company today could hardly pin the current Apple CEO. A few amends can be made to this conclusion, however, since Facebook definitely means Zuckerberg, Virgin Group means Richard Branson and Tesla means Elon Musk.

When we see a person as being the brand, as in determining the fundamental decisions that steer a brand in what its products and societal impact mean, we’ve humanized the brand. All its employees and values are infused by the characteristics we associate with the one person that IS the brand.

However, is this just a perception, or does it have a nugget of truth in it?

 

The value of brand humanization

Profits. Influence. Isn’t that the core of commerce? These apparently come easier when instead of random clients, brands have loyal customers or even absolute fans. OK, let’s settle for the middle area of loyal customers – fans, although extremely in fashion for decades, are in fact a bit more. The amount of emotion involved in being a fan makes the entire thing a bit extreme, and in any serious study, the extremes are not taken into consideration.

*For those who enjoy video materials, here’s an Inc video on the value of brand humanization subject.

The process starts from the inside. As the brand owners personalize and humanize its presence, by attributing “character traits – likes, dislikes, mannerisms and a dialect” to it, and by positioning their campaigns “in and around these traits”, they induce the same perception to their target audience.

The process might take time, but it sure pays off in the end. There are recipes on how to approach this whole humanize-your-brand business. Big companies invest a lot of resources into it, smaller companies strike gold when they manage to infuse it on a more restrained budget.

The baseline – it’s not easy. Some specialize in it, others simply make the brand in their likeness. And yes, it is mostly about perception.

 

When the branding story parts with reality

Of course, all stories benefit or suffer from this phenomenon. Yet there is digression and digression. There are brands that have fallen due to being exposed as being the exact opposite of their official story. One cannot pretend to be ethical, for example, while in fact, not being – or can they?

Well, to put it bluntly, keeping up appearances works as long as no unwanted exposure turns the fans into haters. The game is a dangerous, especially when the reality does not at least partially keep up with the official image.

There are examples when the brand fans believe what they were led into believing, and ultimately contribute to fueling the image they want to be true. For example, Android and iOS are competitors, yet the big tech companies beneath these operating systems are in fact working together. Due to the patent system, one company actually gains when a product of the “adversary” is bought. Now, in a humanized version, would we see them as frenemies, as fair-play competitors, or as being in cahoots?

The same with merging, acquisitions and important personnel shifts – when actual humans associated with one brand go to a completely different company. We assume these former employees are imbued with the company values, and in turn the company values reside in each such employee. So, what happens when changes occur?

 

Keeping brand-related likes and dislikes genuine…

Snatching the approval of the potential audience is a game with high stakes. With Machine earning, AI, algorithms and big data involved, the customer is like an ancient king, maneuvered by clever, calculated decision makers.

However, even the turbulent history of humanity managed to have a few wise kings. Making educated choices, reaching a higher level of likes and dislikes, a level where we are emotional,, but also rational – here’s a possible way of actually being in charge as customers.

By supporting the brands which fake it less, and sanctioning the changes that we don’t like, we contribute as customers to a better future. Of course, we have to really understand what the values worth fighting for are, as well as the deep (yet amazingly prone to invisibility) link between what surrounds us and our own choices.